‘Don’t U-turn on possession hearings again’, letting agents tell government

first_imgARLA Propertymark has written to housing minister Chris Pincher to plead with the government not to U-turn again on its promise to re-start possession hearings again on Monday.“It is vital that the courts begin hearing cases again as soon as possible so that those who choose not to pay or are guilty of unacceptable behaviour, face justice,” the letter says.ARLA Propertymark has repeatedly raised the issue that tenant arrears incurred prior to the Coronavirus pandemic are unrelated to the outbreak and should be treated separately.“In addition, further last-minute announcements delaying the courts from reopening and extending notice periods, fail to consider the practical implications and knock-on effects for agents as businesses who manage multiple tenancies,” it says.In the meantime, HM Courts & Tribunals Services has revealed how it plans to cope when the stay on possession claims if indeed it does end on Sunday, including changes that letting agents will have to observe to successfully eject tenants from properties.This follows a working group on possession proceedings headed up by the Master of the Rolls Terence Etherton, including new procedures many of which are designed to help manage the expected wave of reactivated and new possession claims in the coming weeks and months.Reactivation noticesIt has been revealed that landlords have until January 24th to reactivate stayed possession claims using two non-mandatory Reactivation Notices – one for the landlord, the other for the tenant.As before, these ask letting agents and landlords to find out as much information about a tenant’s financial circumstances in relation to Covid, and give the reason for the claim, so it can be prioritised including those claims issued before Covid kicked off.These include anti-social behaviour, rent arrears of more than 12 months’ rent or nine months’ rent that is more than 25% of a landlords overall income. Others include squatting, domestic violence, fraud/deception, illegal subletting and property abandonment.Initial reviewExcept in accelerated possession claims, letting agents and landlords will be given an initial ‘review date’ for new and stayed claims of 21 days. Then, 14 days beforehand, they must provide all the written evidence in written or electronic form and then, on the review date, be available for a telephone conference with the tenant or their advisor, after which the court will make a decision, which may be followed by a more substantive hearing 28 days later.MediationThe new guidance reveals that a new voluntary mediation pilot is to be conducted to facilitate a pre-hearing agreement between landlord/letting agent and tenant, which will be provided by an independent provider jointly funded by the Ministry of Housing and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).Accelerate possession claimsIf issued before 3rd August 2020 these will now require a Reactivation Notice as with all other stayed claims and be subject to the same prioritisation which, along with other measures, are designed help manage workflow.Read the full HMCTS document and guidance.Download the new Reactivation Notices.Read more about previous bans.terence etherton master of the rolls possession hearings evictions September 16, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » ‘Don’t U-turn on possession hearings again’, letting agents tell government previous nextRegulation & Law‘Don’t U-turn on possession hearings again’, letting agents tell governmentTrade association has written to the housing minister to make the case for possession hearing re-starting on Monday, as planned.Nigel Lewis16th September 20200919 Viewslast_img read more

ND professor uses nuclear physics to fight COVID-19 in Armenia

first_imgCourtesy of Ani Aprahamian The ozone generator nuclear physics professor Ani Aprahamian and her team at the Alikhanyan National Laboratory in Yerevan, Armenia created sterilizes rooms by using ozone gas.Aprahamian said the prototype for the generator was built in three days by piecing together scrap parts in the laboratory, and the team confirmed the success of the prototype by testing it on live viruses. “Everybody worked day and night … They were working until four or five, every morning,” Aprahamian said. “This is a project we started to help Armenia given the coronavirus.”In less than two weeks since the start of the initiative, Aprahamian said the device was delivered to the Armenian Ministry of Health, which was invested in its creation. “We delivered [the prototype] to The Ministry of Health two weeks ago … The Ministry thought it was useful and asked us to build 20 more,” Aprahamian said. The additional generators were “much better quality” than the prototype, Aprahamian said, and can now be used to sterilize hundreds of spaces. Aprahamian’s team consists of eight people working remotely. While the shelter in place order in Armenia has made collaboration challenging, the various expertises of the group have allowed them to execute the various aspects of the project in a timely fashion while still maintaining social distancing.The inspiration for the program originated with a patent on an old ozone generator from one of Aprahamian’s colleagues.“I gathered a group of [people] and said, ‘Can we think about something to do?’,”  Aprahamian said. “Together they looked at the old [generator] and improved the designs … They built something so much better.”The ozone generator sucks the air from a room and then exposes it to high voltage which breaks down oxygen to ozone gas. While ozone protects the earth from space radiation, it also breaks down viruses and bacteria by oxidation. The molecule itself then breaks down in 10-30 minutes. However, ozone is harmful to breathe. The generator must be placed in an empty room to sterilize for an hour, and the generator must be removed for an additional hour to give the ozone time to fully break down so people can safely enter later. Aprahamian’s team consists of division leader professor Albert Avetisyan, engineers Ando Manukyan, Gevorg Hovhannisyan and Vahan Elbakyan, graduate student Kim Hovhannisyan, physicists Arthur Mkrtchyan and Armen Gyurjinyan and instruction writer Hripsime Mkrtchyan.“They have different areas, they’re doing different kinds of work,” Aprahamian said. “… Everyone here works at the [National Science Institute of Armenia] … on the cyclotron, a new thing that’s starting nuclear medicine in Armenia.” A cyclotron is a type of particle accelerator which can be used to create radioactive isotopes which can be applied in nuclear medicine, agriculture, fisheries, cognac production and testing objects for cultural heritage.The team has also built an ultraviolet C sterilization box to sanitize used masks and personal protective equipment, and they plan to develop an improved and accessible respirator system to alleviate the respiratory distress of afflicted patients.“This kind of project is very important nowadays,” Mkrtchyan said. “I think it will change a lot of things, including the view of the government towards science … here in Armenia. When you are doing something useful for the entire country, all of them are starting to be interested and take notice.”Tags: Armenia, COVID-19, freimann life science center, nuclear physics, ozone generator Through the use of nuclear medicine, ozone generators and ultraviolet lamps, Ani Aprahamian and her team have successfully initiated a program to combat COVID-19 in Armenia. Aprahamian, a professor of experimental nuclear physics, has taught at Notre Dame for 30 years and also serves as the director of the Alikhanian National Science Laboratory in Yerevan, Armenia. Having recently been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to continue her research in Armenia, Aprahamian, along with her team, developed an ozone generator which can sterilize areas of up to 140 cubic meters every hour to help fight COVID-19.“It depends on exposure time, [and] how long you turn on it, then bigger places can be sterilized,” program engineer Ando Manukyan said. last_img read more